You know we love HIIT here at New Moon! It’s why we love Les Mills GRIT™, and it’s why I’m posting a Tabata workout for each day of the month as I did in April on our Facebook Page. Do these workouts in your living room with body weight. Modify the routine if necessary.
Tabata is the “purest” form of high intensity interval training (HIIT). Tabata is HIIT if you do eight intervals of exercise with a 20/10 split, meaning 20 seconds of maximum effort (fastest pace with correct technique) exercise followed by 10 seconds rest. If you extend the exercise or the rest periods, or if you are not doing maximum effort on your exercise, then you’re performing HIIT or even a more moderate interval routine.
Interval training is a good workout at any intensity, so go ahead and modify these Tabata routines to fit your level of fitness. Start with longer rest intervals and decrease them over time. For example, exercise for 20 seconds at 60% of your maximum pace, then rest for 60 seconds. Overtime, reduce the rest to 20 seconds and increase your pace to 70%, etc.
WHERE DID TABATA COME FROM?
Tabata is named after the doctor who studied Japanese Olympic speed skaters. He found the 4 minute interval technique using bicycle sprints was more effective than an hour of moderate cycling. Also, the Tabata participants saw a 28-percent improvement in “anaerobic capacity”—a measure of how long you can exercise at your top effort. The control group saw no such improvements. The original study found that highly conditioned athletes had exhausted themselves with this 4 minutes, and that’s the goal. Since most of us are not athletes, it will take some practice to achieve the intensity to make Tabata effective, so get to it!